The retail industry is constantly being redefined. To compete with the rise of online retailers and convenience-based shopping, organizations are sprinting to implement digital initiatives across their network that deliver new customer experiences like cashless checkout, location-based shopping services and specialized mobile branding or offers.
To meet these objectives, organizations need to adopt an advanced network posture that supports their digital strategy.
Outdated network infrastructure
One National Retail Organization was struggling to reach this level of transformation due to outdated branch network technology. Over the years, the Retailer had not invested much in network infrastructure. Also impeding their process was the fact that the company didn’t have the needed resources to build upon technology implementations to support mature retail initiatives.
The Retailer needed a partner with the capacity to design and test a future-proofed infrastructure that would solve their network issues and enable an omnichannel strategy.
WWT used our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to build a test environment for a full Cisco Meraki stack solution that included routers, switches and wireless access points. We then performed two proofs of concept (POC) based on the Retailer’s major network pain points.
Following the Company’s test requirements, we established that Meraki would meet their standards regarding dashboard objectives, power loss strategy, redundancy, point-of-sale traffic and voice communications. Proving the solution’s effectiveness in the Retailer’s environment allowed our ATC teams to help the Customer come to a confident decision in adopting Meraki for their network foundation.
After proving out the solution, we moved into delivering deployment services. With the implementation timeline set at 26 weeks, WWT Professional Services worked at a store rollout rate of more than 20 sites per night for the Retailer’s 500 store locations. To meet the aggressive timeline, our Branch Services Team performed pre-site readiness assessments to validate rack space, cabling and other specifications.
We also accelerated the Retailer’s time to a mature network with an automated configuration provisioning tool, Thelios. WWT application developers worked with the customer to create an automation process using Meraki APIs. The resulting automation scripts cut configuration time from two hours to two minutes, reducing 200 clicks to just four or five and allowing us to move approximately 1,040 stacks out of the North American Integration Center each week.
A future-proofed network
Meraki wireless is now functional across the Retailer’s entire U.S. network, in approximately 500 stores. Its cloud-based management and analytic capabilities create a solid IT foundation for digital marketing efforts, as well as a forward-thinking infrastructure to support an omnichannel strategy.
With a secure and reliable Meraki network, the Company can now look to the future and solidify their place in the retail industry. Ongoing engagements are taking place around customer wireless, RFID, IoT, SaaS and application development to improve customer experience and workforce productivity.
As the Retailer continues on the road to digital transformation, they can rely on WWT as a trusted partner and advisor when testing, deploying and integrating cutting-edge technology to build upon their digital strategy.